With 2020 on the horizon, it’s the perfect time to think about new ways to improve your field service business. Paul Whitelam, ClickSoftware outlines nine key areas that you need to be targetting to ensure your service delivery remains competitive as we move into the third decade of the twenty-first century…
You’ve probably been hearing a lot about new trends and visions for the future, and it’s probably a little overwhelming. An easy way to get started is by throwing away some of the outdated practices you’ve been following. To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of field service practices you might want to leave behind in 2019.
Field service scheduling requires making several quick and calculated decisions. You need to consider everything from travel time and routing, technicians’ schedules and skill sets, equipment tracking, and SLA compliance. It’s much easier to rely on an automated scheduling solution to make optimized decisions for you, so you can focus on the bigger stuff—like your customers’ satisfaction.
Using separate solutions
The only way to gain true visibility into field service schedules is to manage everything in a single solution. This includes schedules, capacity planning, long- and short-cycle work, crew allocations, and more. Limiting field service management to a single solution also gives you the flexibility to manage your workforce more efficiently and ensure that you’re equipped to handle urgent work.
Not prepping technicians for customer service
Your field resources are often the only face-to-face contact your customers have with your company. This means it’s crucial they are equipped to give the best customer service possible. Start thinking of your technicians as your brand ambassadors, and ensure they have the soft skills to make a great impression on your customers.
Lack of visibility into technician location
With Uber you can hail a ride and know exactly where your driver is and when they will arrive. And Amazon provides updates when your package is shipped and as soon as it’s delivered. Your customers know this level of visibility is possible, and they expect it in their service too. Allow customers to track their technician’s location and send them reminders and updates about the status of their service. On top of giving your customers’ peace of mind, this also helps you avoid no shows and last minute cancellations.
Long Appointment Windows & Exact Time Slots
According to our Field Service Report, more than 60% of consumers across all countries said a long wait time between their service appointment being booked and carried out led to a bad customer service experience. It’s no surprise because today’s customers expect service fast, and definitely, don’t want to be waiting around all day to get it. Use optimized scheduling and appointment booking to ensure shorter, two-hour service windows for your customers.
Leaving the customer site before booking a follow-up appointment
Sometimes a repair is more complex than originally thought or a technician doesn’t have the right part to complete a job. When a follow-up appointment is needed, don’t leave the customer site until it is booked. Instead of simply ordering a part and asking the customer to call and schedule when they receive it, do it for them. The customer will feel more at ease knowing that even though the problem wasn’t fixed today, it will be fixed as soon as possible.
Not measuring customer effort score
When it comes to measuring customer experience, the Net Promoter Score (NPS) and customer satisfaction (CSAT) scores are usually the go to. But in today’s on-demand world, convenience and ease are becoming more and more important to customers. Many organizations have started measuring customer experience by the amount of effort customers are putting into getting an issue resolved. Add this to your list of KPIs so you can ensure future customer engagements are simple and seamless.
Not using live traffic updates
As customer expectations continue to rise, the importance of route optimization and getting resources from place to place is ever increasing. Many organizations are taking advantage of predictive travel and applications like Google Maps to accurately estimate travel times and plan routes ahead of the service day. However, it’s also important to consider real-time, live traffic updates on the day of service to account for unforeseen traffic and roadblocks.
Leaving out change management
When your service team has been doing things a certain way for several years, bringing in a new solution can be overwhelming. Even if the previous solution was inefficient or completely manual and paper-based, change can be scary. When implementing a new field service management solution, it’s important to get everyone on board and comfortable with the new solution—so don’t skip out on change management. Emphasize the benefits of FSM—such as efficiency, cost savings, and customer satisfaction—and make sure everyone is properly trained on using the solution.
While no one can know exactly what the field service management landscape will look like in 2020, it’s safe to expect increasing customer expectations and new technologies. Start preparing your organization for what’s next today.
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